Work continues on the new JCFD#1 building just east of Four Corners Rd and West 191st in Edgerton. Photo courtesy of JCFD#1
Twenty-one SH firemen will be contracted with Johnson County Fire District #1 next month.
The change has been in the works about two years, as Overland Park has annexed land in the Spring Hill (JCFD#2) area, the decision was made to split #2 evenly between Overland Park and JCFD#1, which serves the Gardner Edgerton area.
Dennis Meyer, fire chief for JCFD#1, said the change will not increase costs to local residents; however, the district will assume 21 Spring Hill employees, and #2 will contract for that management.
Sitting as the governing body of Johnson County Fire District No. 2,on Oct. 21, the Board of County Commissioners authorized two separate agreements to evenly split and transfer Fire District No. 2 services to the City of Overland Park and Johnson County Fire District No. 1. This plan was prompted by recent and anticipated future growth of Overland Park, along with loss of revenue caused by the early termination of Fire District No. 2’s contract with Overland Park. Fire District No. 2 serves the southeastern portion of the county.
“This enhances the efficiency in providing fire service to the region as well as provides stability for fire district fire fighters,” said Fire District No. 2 Chief Jim Francis. “We look forward to making this a smooth transition that will begin on the morning of Nov. 28.”
Under these new agreements, the City of Overland Park will soon provide some services currently provided by Fire District No. 2 and hire 22 current Fire District No. 2 staff members. The city will serve the current Johnson County Fire District No. 2 territory east of Lackman road. Johnson County Fire District No. 1 will employ 22 existing Fire District No. 2 employees and serve the area located west of Lackman Road.
Since 1974, when Fire District No. 2 was created, approximately 50 percent of the overall territory of the fire district has been detached due to the growth of the cities of Overland Park, Olathe and Leawood. In 2008, following a large annexation by the City of Overland Park, Fire District No. 2 entered into a 15-year agreement with Overland Park to serve this newly annexed territory. The final year of this agreement is 2022. In 2019, the City of Overland Park formally expressed intent to terminate the agreement and begin providing its own fire services to the area in 2022.
The City of Overland Park is in the process of building a new fire station that will soon serve a portion of the city territory that Fire District No. 2 is now serving. The station will be located at 12301 W. 175th St. When the new Overland Park fire station opens, the existing Fire District No. 2 first station at 19065 Lackman Rd. will close.